Legendary Comedian Bill Burr Breaks Down the Evolution of Action Movies

'Bloodsport'
'Bloodsport'
Action movies have undergone many changes since the genre debuted... 

When I was a kid, I would load up on VHS tapes when we hit Blockbuster. I was obsessed with Jackie Chan and had to see all of his high octane adventures. Eventually, I moved on to Van Damme, Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Jet Li. Never was a Seagal guy. 

As I got older, action movies changed. I think part of that was due to the Tom Clancy-esque military realism popularity. There also was a shift in Hollywood toward intellectual property, and while there were books that had more action, I think there were more elegant, grounded takes on what was out there. 

But you don't want to hear me wax poetic about the action genre. Instead, listen to comedian Bill Burr recap it and let's talk more after the jump. 

Legendary Comedian Bill Burr Breaks Down the Evolution of Action Movies  

Tropes come and go in Hollywood but the genre stays more or less the same. The way it changes is through audience taste and what populates popular culture. Action movies got their start with pirate adventures, war epics, gangster flicks, and, of course, westerns, but it also evolved after heavy Japanese influence from filmmakers like Akira Kurosawa.

But the 80s felt like the real emergence of the modern action movie. You saw the biggest names wading into the mix, the guys I mentioned before plus crossover people like Hulk Hogan and even Dennis Rodman taking their places as action stars in the 90s. 

And don't forget, Bruce Willis was on a sitcom before he became John McClane. 

One thing I loved about the video was when Burr talked about the jokes and zingers that died when the 80s action movies came around. Those jokes were definitely of that era, and I wonder if they are actually primed for a comeback now? 

Is there a writer that can take the realism we are used to seeing today and add back in the jokes? 

Die Hard
'Die Hard'

That might be a good forecast for where the genre is going. 

Expanding on that, I have to disagree with him when it comes to women kicking ass. If you've bought into the lunacy and tone of an action movie, I'm not sure the size of people kicking ass or their gender actually changes my belief in what's happening on screen.  

When you watch an action movie, you're signing up for a certain level of "No way."

Still, if you want to keep the Burrs at bay, you should write or direct your scenes with plausibility in mind. Should your hero hit them with a tire iron or use a karate move that uses their size and weight against them. Or maybe you make it into a joke where they have to outsmart them? 

Keep that in mind when you're writing a fight scene

And maybe there's a "the bigger they are, the harder they fall" joke in there as well. 

Did you enjoy the video? Have disagreements with Burr? Let us know in the comments.      

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6 Comments

Greatest comedian ever ! And I totally agree. More like Atomic Dumb

October 3, 2020 at 5:31AM

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Martin Brewer
Director, DOP
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Công ty xe cẩu xe nâng Hà Nội

October 3, 2020 at 8:41PM

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Công ty xe cẩu xe nâng Hà Nội
[Hà Nội] - Dịch vụ cho thuê Xe cẩu & Xe nâng giá rẻ
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[Hà Nội] - Dịch vụ cho thuê Xe cẩu & Xe nâng giá rẻ

October 3, 2020 at 9:32PM

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Công ty xe cẩu xe nâng Hà Nội
[Hà Nội] - Dịch vụ cho thuê Xe cẩu & Xe nâng giá rẻ
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xecauhanoi

October 4, 2020 at 12:22AM

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Công ty xe cẩu xe nâng Hà Nội
[Hà Nội] - Dịch vụ cho thuê Xe cẩu & Xe nâng giá rẻ
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These days you must be willing to let go of reality AND your imagination must be strong in order to immerse yourself in action movies lol.

October 4, 2020 at 11:34AM

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Dantly Wyatt
Writer, Director, Content Creator.
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I guess the whole plausible female action lead (without super powers) would be akin to a small/thin guy around 130lbs being the lead in such a movie and beating up guys twice his size/weight. Has a movie like that ever been made and done well?
The closest I can think of is Bruce Lee, but even then he wasn't usually beating up huge guys from what I remember. Perhaps the scene he did with Kareem in Game of Death but that's the only one that comes to mind.

October 9, 2020 at 11:38AM

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No way, I did martial arts and sometimes I did spar with females.
They are way "softer" than the similarly sized small/tiny guy.
Bones and muscles are determined by sex, you can't change that.
You can hit her harder with your slap than she can hit you with her punch.

October 14, 2020 at 1:12PM, Edited October 14, 1:12PM

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OniBaba
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